Just finished watching "Louie" on F/X which stars and is written and directed by comedian Louie C.K. F/X didn't advertise this particular episode as "very special" in the treacly way ABC or NBC would've done, but this episode actually was special.
The show is usually 30 minutes, but tonight's show was an hour. Louie travels to Afghanistan with the U.S.O. after a night of taking care of the ducklings his 5-year-old daughter's teacher sent home with them. When he gets to Afghanistan, he discovers that his daughter packed one of the ducklings into his luggage for good luck. (Not sure how the duck went unnoticed through military security or how he survived in luggage for a flight from NYC to Afghanistan, or how Louie's clothing wasn't covered in duck poop, but that's not the point! Just go with it.) I read that Louie based this episode on his personal experience with the U.S.O., and it was interesting to see how that whole process worked.
There's a scene toward the end where the helicopter carrying the U.S.O. performers has mechanical trouble and has to land in a remote area. While they're waiting for help, a group of Afghan people approaches, some of them armed. The U.S. troops yell for them to put their guns down, the Afghan men protest and things get really tense. Louie's freaking out, drops his bag, and puts his hands over his head like he's under arrest. When he drops the bag, the little duckling crawls out. Louie goes to catch him, and trips and falls. There's a moment of silence and then everyone just starts laughing. The Afghan men shake hands with the troops and take turns petting the little duck. A good time is had by all, and when the backup helicopter arrives, Louie ends up giving the little duck to a young girl that was with the Afghan group. There's a sort of "can't we all just get along?" message there, but it wasn't pounded over your head.
I know that sounds so sappy and unrealistic, but it was so well done, and what really hooked me is that at the end of the credits, there's a note that says the story was inspired by Louie C.K.'s six-year-old daughter. How sweet is that?! Great show.